Premier impressed at infrastructure investment by Breede Valley Municipality | Western Cape Government


Premier impressed at infrastructure investment by Breede Valley Municipality

10 April 2023

Media release: #ListeningTour - Premier Winde impressed at massive infrastructure investment by Breede Valley Municipality

Premier Alan Winde took his Listening Tour on the road again this month, this time paying a visit to the town of Worcester.

Worcester Provincial Hospital

During an unannounced visit to the Worcester Provincial Hospital, the Premier was told by management that patient waiting times fall within the accepted norms and standards. Most people in the waiting area were seated, with officials giving regular updates on when they would be seen to. Hospital officials told the Premier they need more storage space for medical supplies, food, and the like. The storage facility is, however, adequately stocked and well-run.

Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) District Office

At the neighbouring Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) District Office, Premier Winde interacted with clients, who highlighted alcohol abuse as one of the most pressing challenges in their community. In a meeting with district officials, it was once again candidly pointed out that social services come under immense pressure during harvest season in the region, with many seasonal workers seeking help, adding to the strain the system is already experiencing. “Despite these challenges, I am very impressed and grateful for the passion and dedication our department officials put into the critical work they do for our residents,” he said.

Department official Lynette Louw explained that most seasonal workers are foreigners and deserve the same standard of service as South African citizens. The Premier said, “We are a responsive and caring government which aims to extend critical social services to all who reside in our province.”

Improving the nutritional needs of our children

Expanding feeding schemes was another issue which was raised. Nutrition is part of the Provincial Department of Health Wellness’ comprehensive package of care and is rendered by both dietitians and nursing staff who have been trained accordingly. DSD also received an additional R85.1 million over the 2023 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period for Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Livelihoods. Of this, R28 million is allocated over the 2023/24 financial year, R28.3 million in the following year, and R28.7 million in 2025/26 to fund Food Distribution Centres and Community Nutrition Development Centres.

The Western Cape is building

The next leg of the tour focused on the vital area of infrastructure. The newly established Western Cape Department of Infrastructure was launched on 1 April and will lead the charge in the province to intensify infrastructure development, which is an important economic driver, creating jobs and ensuring citizens are provided with dignified and modern services.

From a routine road maintenance and traffic circle development project in Worcester to the construction of a massive 20-megalitre reservoir, as well as the R370 million Transhex housing project, the town is indeed a burgeoning construction site. Premier Winde noted, “Fruitful public-private partnerships in the infrastructure space are evident across the town. We must stay ahead of the massive population growth we are seeing across our province.”

He added, “While roads, houses and reservoirs – among others - form the backbone of a modern town and city, we must also invest in recreational facilities, especially for our young people.”

Zwelethemba public swimming pool

Among the highlights of the Listening Tour was a visit to the new Zwelethemba public swimming pool. A nearby school donated land to the Breede Valley Municipality for the Olympic-sized pool, bringing much-needed recreational activities closer to the community.

Building energy resilience

At a meeting with Breede Valley Municipality Mayoral Committee members, the Premier fleshed out the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) Energy Resilience Programme explaining the push to end rolling blackouts this year in at least 4 towns in the province and the allocation of R1.1 billion to efforts to tackle the energy crisis. “We are actively building up our province’s resilience on all fronts, preparing ourselves more adequately for the future. I applaud the work the municipality is doing to help the WCG achieve this,” the Premier told officials.